A ”young” ”rebuilding” team that has repeatedly declared that they want to compete now made a loud first impression on opening night, as the Lakers came from behind to out-shoot the high-powered Houston Rockets, 120-114.
The Lakers played an up-tempo, aggressive offensive game under Walton, and nobody seized the moment better than Clarkson, who came off the bench in his first game since signing a $50 million contract. His three-pointer put the Lakers up 116-112 with 1:48 left, and the Lakers hung on while the Rockets missed a long series of open shots in the final minute
Earlier in the week, new head coach Luke Walton conceded that there will be growing pains in the team’s rebuilding process, but the players didn’t take that as a reason to simply wait for better days.
Coach Walton said “It feels good. A big part of what we’re trying to do is develop this culture, and learn how to win games.“
Brandon Ingram scored nine points in the No. 2 pick’s NBA debut for the Lakers. Timofey Mozgov had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Luol Deng had seven points in their Lakers debuts.